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Archived: Limited and Ethical Government Legal Cases

Since its creation in 1977, MSLF has been one of the Nation's leading legal centers fighting to ensure that the federal government remains a limited government and a government of laws and not men and women. MSLF recognizes that the Constitution was written, not to protect the various units or levels of government, but to preserve the liberty of the American people. MSLF is committed to ensuring that they continue to have that freedom and opportunity.

Texas v. United States of America

Legal Question:

Whether the Executive Branch may implement immigration reform that grants legal status to four million illegal immigrants by administrative fiat?

Plaintiffs:

Texas, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Attorney General Bill Schuette (Michigan), Governor Phil Bryant (Mississippi), Governor Paul LePage (Maine), Governor Patrick McCrory (North Carolina), Governer C.L. Otter (Idaho) State of Wyoming

Defendants:

United States of America, Jeh Johnson, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, R. Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Ronald D. Vitiello, Deputy Chief of U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Thomas S. Winkowski, Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and León Rodríguez, Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Amicus Curiae:

Mountain States Legal Foundation

Court:

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Unknown.
On November 20, 2014, Secretary of the Department of Human Services Jeh Johnson ordered the Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Customs and Border Protection to implement the so-called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program, which bars deportation proceedings and awards  benefits to four million individuals currently residing illegally in the United States.  President Obama characterized the edict, which he had ordered, thusly:  “I just took an action to change the law....”

Fearing the fallout from granting federal benefits—and associated state benefits—to four million illegal immigrants, twenty plus states sued alleging the order violates the Take Care Clause; conflicts with immigration law, the Immigration and Naturalization Act, e.g.; and violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).  The States alleged a range of their injuries from the program, including the costs of providing:  driver’s licenses, unemployment benefits, and benefits mandated by state law on proof of lawful residence.  The States also sought a preliminary injunction halting implementation of the order, arguing that once applications for deferred action status started being granted, it would be difficult to “unscramble the egg.”

On February 16, 2015, the federal district court for the Southern District of Texas granted a Preliminary Injunction in a 123-page opinion that detailed the irreparable injuries that would be suffered by the States, held that the States were likely to prevail on the merits, and concluded that the order was not an act of prosecutorial discretion, but executive lawmaking.  The United States appealed to the Fifth Circuit.

On March 24, 2015, the Fifth Circuit set an expedited briefing schedule.  On May 11, 2015, MSLF filed its brief in support of the States.  On May 26, 2015, the Fifth Circuit upheld the preliminary injunction granted by the Texas federal district court. On July 10, 2015, the Fifth Circuit heard oral arguments.  On November 9, 2015, the Fifth Circuit upheld the district court’s decision, agreeing that the States have standing and are likely to succeed on the merits.  On November 20, 2015, the United States filed a petition for writ of certiorari.  On January 19, 2016, the Supreme Court granted the petition. On March 1, 2016, the United States filed its opening brief.  On March 28, 2016, Texas filed its response brief.  On April 4, 2016, MSLF filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Texas.  On April 18, 2016, the Court heard oral argument.

 

 

No Status Updates
  • Western Legal Foundation Welcomes Supreme Court Decision

    Jan 19, 2016
    A western nonprofit, public-interest legal foundation with decades of experience litigating to compel federal agencies to adhere to the rule of law today welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States to review a ruling by a federal appeals court upholding a Texas federal district court decision that struck down an Obama administration decree.
  • Western Legal Foundation Welcomes Landmark Immigration Ruling

    Nov 9, 2015
    A western nonprofit, public-interest legal foundation with decades of experience litigating to compel federal agencies to adhere to the rule of law today welcomed a 2-1 ruling by a federal appeals court upholding a Texas federal district court injunction that barred implementation of an Obama administration decree.
  • Western Legal Foundation Welcomes Immigration Ruling

    May 26, 2015
    A western nonprofit, public-interest legal foundation with decades of experience litigating to compel federal agencies to adhere to the rule of law today welcomed a ruling by a federal appeals court upholding a Texas federal district court decision that struck down an Obama administration decree.
  • Western Legal Foundation Argues Against Immigration Rule

    May 11, 2015
    A western nonprofit, public-interest legal foundation with decades of experience litigating to compel federal agencies to adhere to the rule of law today filed a friend of the court brief with a federal appeals court urging it to uphold a Texas federal district court ruling that struck down an Obama administration decree.


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